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February 1st, 2012
09:23 PM ET

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

By Eric Marrapodi and Brianna Keilar, CNN

(CNN)–After years of bridge building with the Catholic Church, the Obama administration may have damaged some of the good will it built up with the nation's 70 million Catholics, which could have steep consequences at the polls in November.

Some rank and file Catholics are beginning to express the same frustrations as clergy about a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy requiring all employers, including religious ones, to pay for FDA-approved contraceptives, such as the birth control pill and Plan B, through health insurance plans. Churches are exempt but hospitals and schools with religious affiliations must comply. The new policy goes into effect August 1, 2012, but religious groups who oppose contraception have been given a yearlong extension to enforce the policy.

"What's offensive is that we're being told, our Catholic institutions which serve this nation well, are being told you who find these things offensive, you should pay for them, in fact you must pay for them," Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, told CNN.

Catholic teaching opposes the use of contraceptives.  Wuerl acknowledged the clergy and the faithful have been at odds over the teachings on contraceptive use. But on this policy he said both are in lockstep over what is being perceived as a violation of religious liberties.

"This time around what people are seeing this isn't a question of one moral teaching or another, it's being able to teach at all. Our freedom, and everyone has a stake in freedom in this country, and I think that's why this resonates across the board," he said.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Wuerl is calling his congregants to action, asking them to call congress and the White House to express their displeasure.

"We're beginning to say to our people this is what the issue is, it's wrong, we've never experienced this in the history of our country before, this is a violation of the basic rights of conscience and religious liberty. So you need to know that and you need to speak up," he said.

The timing of the administration's announcement has drawn criticism for being tone deaf, coming just three days before tens of thousands of protesters, many of them Catholics who oppose abortion rights, came to Washington for the annual March for Life on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

"In my estimation it's a huge misstep politically," said Stephen Schneck a political scientist from Catholic University who has consulted with the administration on Catholic issues. In 2009, Schneck also worked with pro-abortion rights Democrats in Congress on the president’s signature health care reform measure to find language that ensured government funds did not pay for abortions.

"The way in which the narrative is being developed is that the administration is at odds with the Catholic Church fundamentally. What I'm seeing in the pews is something of a waking up, a Catholic solidarity. That I think could very well carry over into their political activities" Schneck said. "There's nothing like having a sense of opposition to you to rally the troops and I suspect that's going to happen here."

Schneck pointed particularly to states with large Catholic populations where this new solidarity could have a far-reaching political impact.

"If you look at where those Catholics are, they're in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Florida, which are of course critical states for anyone who wants to become president of the United States," he said.

In 2008, President Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote, according to the Pew Research Center. Early on in his presidency, Obama reached out to Catholics. He appointed prominent Catholics to several cabinet positions and ambassadorships.

In May 2009, the president delivered the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, where he spoke of working together on abortion.

"Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women. Those are things we can do," the president said to rousing applause from the crowd in South Bend, Indiana.

In shaping the new Health and Human Services policy, the administration reached out to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the public policy arm of the church in the United States, and other Catholic leaders in November to seek their input in the process. Many of the same Catholic leaders received a heads up on January 20 several hours before the administration announced the policy.

"This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the statement about the policy.

On Tuesday in the White House briefing room, Press Secretary Jay Carney again defended the administration's decision when pressed by reporters.

"After very careful consideration the administration believes that this strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concern," Carney said.

The administration is extremely concerned this will affect Catholic voters’ support.

As the opposition grew this week, the administration noted to reporters there were Catholics in and out of government who support the measure, as well as interfaith groups.

Late Wednesday night the White House launched the first part of an information campaign to spell out what the policy change does and does not do.

An administration official also pointed to nearly $2 billion in federal grants that have gone to Catholic-related charities since the beginning of the administration as a sign of the willingness to work together.

James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, which hasn't taken a position on the HHS policy, said there could be a silver lining for both Catholics and the administration on this issue. He said with more women able to access contraceptives there could be a reduction in abortions stemming from unplanned pregnancies as a result of the policy.

"More needs to be done on both sides. It's not just a question for the administration, it's a question for the pro-life community and the pro-choice community to put aside their heated rhetoric and find common ground," Salt said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Barack Obama • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,744 Responses)
  1. Corey

    If GOD gave us free will why can't the churches. Just because they have to offer it doesn't mean people have to take it. They should be more worried about how they teach and why people do want to use birth control. In the end it's not mans job to judge anyway. By not allowing people to make the decision to use is not teaching it's forcing. The same thing they claim the government is doing. The government isn't forcing people to take birth control they just want to give people the option (free will) without it being denied by a groups beliefs. They claim the government is taking away their freedom, but are asking to take peoples freedoms by not providing birth control. Some will say if you don't like the churches stance go to another hospital. Well I say if you don't like the law quit taking government money along with tax breaks or go to another country.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Thinking7

      You're missing the point. The government is trying to force us to pay for abortions and contraceptives in a health care plan. That is not right. If there was an opt out clause, that would make all the difference in Catholics accepting the health care law. Obama doesn't care about our rights. He wants to make us pay for something we don't agree with.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • John Danger

      Thinking7, most Catholics support Obama. This story provides no evidence otherwise, because there isn't any. Read the story and try and find one piece of evidence that a majority of Catholics don't support Obama – they voted for him by a majority.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Thinking7

      John Danger – No, they do not support him now. The Catholic Church has told its members all across the country this past weekend that it will not condone this health care law. It will not abide by it because it violates our conscience. We will not be forced to pay for coverage that includes abortion and contraception. The problem is that there is no opt out clause. We would have to pay for it whether or not we used it. We are not going to pay for it. Period. The Catholic Church has taken a stance. Obama will fall.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • BRC

      OR, the government is trying to walk the difficult line of respecting all rgiths, as euitably as possible. To whit, some religions don't condone use of contraceptives. Most people, don't care, adn the law recognizes that it is the woman's right to choose, adn that the use of contraceptives are in the best interest of the nation. SO, the law must be fairly applied so that ALL people have the same access to this medicine, it then becomes the individual's choice whether or not to use it.

      Yes, some of your tax money may go to paying for someone else getting a prodecure you don't agree with. But as it has been pointed out many times, it's a give and take thing, there are probably plenty of things you support spending for, that others don't agree with, but their taxes go there too. Not everyone is going to be happy all of the time, so what must be done instead is make the choice that inflicts the least restriction on personal freedoms, while best protecting the health, wellbeign, and future of the country.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44@aol.com

      John, a majority of the Catholic vote did go to Obama back in 2008. So much has changed since then- many religious groups feel that he has declared a "war on religion" (Not a Newt fan, just borrowing his term).

      February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44@aol.com

      BRC, we haven't had problems in the past with reconciling government and religious freedom. So why now? Because of new rules and regulations implemented over the last 3 years.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • BRC

      @Annamarie,
      There has always been conflict. roe v. Wade, Posting of 10 Commandments on Federal Grounds, government funding of nativity scenes. There has alwasy been friction. The thing is, for a long time, a small group of religions always got there way. That's happening less now. It is becoming more fair (or trying to), so it seems like there is more conflict. And there is conflict, there always will be, but aslong as no one religion has an unfair advantage, that's not a problem.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44

      BRC, I've got an analogy for you. Let's say you grew up dreaming of attending this perfect, small private university, but then the government ruled ALL universities to be run under the same, public system, all offering the same programs and degrees. Personally, I'd be bummed. The same goes for imposing certain laws upon religions- one size does NOT fit all-

      February 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • BRC

      @Annamaria,
      Here's a more accurate analogy. The government makes a law saying that at a minimum, all employers will pay for up to 5,000 dollars of vocational education, that can be applied to any technical skill to help fill the nation's skilled employment needs, for any permanent employees. Corporation X doesn't believe in welding, because the believe all things should be made of wood, so they don't want to have to provide the service to their people, because they can use it to gain a skill they don't agree with, even though nothing in the law is telling them to change their manufacturing process.

      Their bias negatively affects their employees, slows the improvement of the nation, and is based purely on opinion. Why should the employees of that Corporation recieve fewer benefits than the employees of every other corporation, when the law says they should all be equal?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • BRC

      @Anamaria,
      the reason you're analogy doesn't fit, is because it doesn't mimc the law. This bill doesn't change how the hospital does business or what procedures it performs (or in your analogy, it wouldn't change how the school provides instruction, or give the state control), it requires that all employees recieve a certain level of health benefits to make the minimum level of care available to all US Citizens the same.. So, in your analogy, it would be that even though teh perfect little private school isn't state run, if its tuition is as high or higher then a public counter part, it must provide a diploma carrying, at minimum, the same level of accredidation that the public school does. That way, all students who paid a certain amount of money for school, got at teh minimum a certain caliber of degree. It doesn't tell the school HOW it has to do it, but it does lay out what the individual's rights are, a requires the school to meet them. In fact, that actuall ydoesn't sound like a bad law.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Corey

      Do you think southern state funded colleges in the 60's wanted blacks in their schools? Did the government force them to accept blacks regardless of those states beliefs? Do you think the government was wrong to force the southern states to desegregate?

      February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Jerry

    The president probably wishes he was only loosing the Catholic vote. Mostly, all he's got are the "dolers" and the corporate crooks (Solindra?!) that he has contributed billions to in exchange for political contributions, supporting him.

    This president has been an embarrassment for America. So much for "Hope and Change."

    February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • John Danger

      Except he hasn't lost the Catholic vote. He won the Catholic vote. Nothing in this story even concludes that he is losing the Catholic vote. You clearly only read the headline.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Thinking7

      Yes, he has lost the Catholic vote. All Catholic Churches across the country were read a letter this past weekend about this corrupt health care infringement on our rights. We will not give in. Obama is gone.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44@aol.com

      Yes, he did- back in 2008.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      He had the Catholic vote in 2008, this however probably will cost him at least part of the Catholic vote. Particularly amongst more religious Hispanics which would have been a solid win otherwise. I say this as a Catholic democrat, though as my name suggests, this has me more than a little peeved.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  3. AnnaMaria44@aol.com

    Absolutely, but not just the Catholic vote. Religious communities of all kinds are framing this within the context of what many view as a continual chipping away of basic religious rights by the Obama Administration over the past 3 years. Jewish, Muslim, and Christian groups have all had problems with this administration over various Federal decrees.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • BRC

      Perhaps all religious groups should learn that their view is not the most important view, and that the laws must be structured to accept ALL belief systems equally.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • John Danger

      Then why do Jews and Catholics both support Obama by notable majorities?

      February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44@aol.com

      Then religious freedom flies out the window. I'm not Amish or Mennonite, but I do believe their rights are just as important as the rights of say, the largest religious congregation in the area, or nation.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      This is a clear violation of first amendment rights. As a Catholic I am apalled. Its not that I'm anti contraception its that I'm pro first amendement. This is an afront to the leadership of my faith, and a sign of Obama's lack of respect and tolerance for persons of faith more generally.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • AnnaMaria44@aol.com

      John, that was 2008, the year of "Hope and Change." A lot has gone down since then...

      February 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Thinking7

      John Danger – Why do you post things about Catholics and Jews that you know nothing about. You are obviously neither Catholic nor Jew. You would understand that neither of these groups are in support of Obama's health care legislation. They have realized it is an assault on our religious liberties.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • BRC

      This is not a Fist Amendment violation. That amendment applies to you, not to your Church. your beliefs are protected, adn you don't ever have to use this insurance to by contraceptives (at teh same time, you do not have the right to tell anyone else not to). The Church does not have the right to tell the businesses (churches/schools) associated with it to Deny their employees the medical rights that have been signed into law. How does that not make sense?

      Tell me how the Catholic church is protected by the 1st amendment or how anyone's personal rights are being violated.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Zocotroco

      Totally agree with you Anna. If you are really a Catholic you should not vote foe a President that everyone knows that he is Pro- Abortion, that is the reason why he choosed the present Secretary of Human Health Services who was the previous Governor of the State of Kansas because she is ABSOLUTELY Pro-Abortion. Well said Anna.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  4. movement31

    Catholics has been lose for a long time..they want even fire anyone due to the ongoing molestation within there churches..they dont report it to the authorities but instead they hide there priest in another church so he can do it again..i spit on the catholic church for this..a price needs to be paid for what there churches and priest have done to innocent children

    February 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • John Danger

      I agree – most Catholics are disgusted with the behavior of their clergy on this issue, and most Catholics would disagree with the quote in this article from an ultra-right-wing extremist bishop.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  5. Danny

    So the catholic church does not like the Government pushing its agenda down their throats? Can the Catholic church STOP trying to push their beliefs on government regulations and services? Separation of Church and State goes both ways.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • John Danger

      Most Catholics agree with you.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Thinking7

      Catholics do not mind a health care law. What they do mind is the government making us pay for services such as abortion and contraception in our health care plan whether or not we use them. Paying for this in our premiums is an outrage.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  6. BIll Sigep

    Stating who Catholics can and cannot vote for is inappropriate – it is quite clear the the key heads of Catholic administration ie the Bishops, have a very right wing agenda, that helps provide them easier control over many members.
    In our area (Southern Virginia) – not where I grew up and learned to embrace the Catholic faith, the Bishop is a Rush Limbaugh clone – other than # of wives. He spares no opportunity to denigrate Obama – I find his comments reprehensible.
    Obama cannot get improve his standing with many US Bishops any more than he can hope for a positive endorsement from Linbaugh. I do not feel a majority of Catholic voters such as myself, put much weight in who our Bishops support.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • John Danger

      Thanks for putting your finger on it. Too many bishops and Catholic-school faculty are like the right-wing extremists quoted in this piece: quick to speak for the majority of Catholics, who in fact supported Obama in 2008 and likely will again in 2012.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  7. Mike from Calgary

    Catholic or not, people should not be forced to subsidize or acquiese in what they believe to be unconcsionable. Obama was eloquent at Notre Dame ... but what he says and does are two different things.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Zocotroco

      I could not have said it any better. Excellent statement. CONGRATULATIOS.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  8. peta

    I am a Roman Catholic in Miami Florida and reside in the largest Catholic Archdiocese in the state. We do not want a return of the "Bush" years and FYI young Catholics are predominately Democrat. This poll is not accurate . Probably even the parish priest is a Democract.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • John Danger

      Exactly. (from a fellow Catholic)

      February 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Zocotroco

      I am a catholic too PETA, but I am a republican because I can not vote for a President that is PRO_ABORTION and his HHS Secretary was Governor of the State of Kansas, and she is Pro-Abortion too. Think about this before calling yourself a democrat and catholic too.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom

      The Catechism says abortion is intriniscally evil. A Catholic can't vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Rick

      I was brought up Catholic along with my 9 sibs. We went to Catholic school. I think all of us are tired of the church telling us what we can do in our lives,be it birth control, abortion, or who we should vote for. People in glass houses Catholic church shouldn't throw stones or you house may come crumbling down upon you..

      February 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  9. noel

    oh yeah, obama is the friend of the catholics. pro abortion, will start a new war in iran, and is a chicago thug politician. uh huh, the catholics will come out in droves for him, but not the intelligent ones!!! OBAMANOS!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • John Danger

      The Republicans reject the Catholic Church's teachings on social justice, poverty, war and peace, Palestine . . . the list goes on. That's why Obama won a Catholic majority last time, and why he'll win the Catholics again in 2012.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Enlightened4

      Obama is the ENEMY of Christians and particularly Catholics. Anyone who doesn't know that, doesn't know anything about their faith. Abortion is another word for murder whether you like it or not. It is what it is, so get over your ignorance.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • prezhussein

      John, Republicans do NOt reject the teachings of the chruch. However, they follow it privately, giving more to charity than Democrats of their time and money.
      Government is not their charity.
      Governemnt is meant to manage funds, not milk the public.
      Charity is a way of life, not a government program forced on all.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Enlightened4: You said, "Obama is the ENEMY of Christians and particularly Catholics."

      I wish that were true. I'd find a way to vote for him twice.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • BRC

      @Sean,
      When I read your comment I almost destroyed my computer with a spit take. No doing that.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  10. ajgorm

    Monopolization is illegal and God will not help you !. God was not the one that voted.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bruce

      The problem with this is that collective shared risk (aka insurance) only works well when there is a monopoly. It simply cannot fit within the confines of a competi.tive market model.

      It's basic actuarial science. Average insurance costs go down as the risk pool gets larger, and they are minimized and optimized when the risk pool is universal. That can only happen in a monopoly. Because of this, insurance must be put in government hands because we know we can't entrust a monopoly to people who have profit motives.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • ajgorm

      Regulation is needed.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  11. Descarado

    The indelible signature of EVERY dictatorship throughout history is the unconditional demand that the citizen disavow its conscience in favor of the state.

    Whether or not you think Obama is the Spawn of Satan, he is a fruitloop dictator in-the-making.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • StuckInTX

      That statement of yours is just so freakin' unbelievable that its almost not worth commenting on!! But I bit! So illuminated one, jsut how does ANY POTUS be a "fruitloop dictator in-the-making". With our sytem of Govt, that's just possible. Or were you not aware of that? Probably not. 😦

      February 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Zocotroco

      Totally agree with you. When the State starts imposing and forcing his citizens to do something that is called NAZISM/ Communism and your rights as a citizen are crushed.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Dave

    Then Catholics are hypocrites since 98% of them have used birth control at some point.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • John Danger

      No, they're not hypocrites – they voted for Obama in 2008 and they'll vote for him again in 2012, since the Republicans hold many more anti-Catholic positions (even the Republican candidates who claim to be Catholic!) Once again, there is NO POLL, NO evidence in this story whatsoever that anyone is "losing" the Catholic vote.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bruce

      Something tells me that the Catholics quoted in the above article are perhaps not all that representative of people who are Catholic...

      February 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Formerly A Democrat Catholic-this did it

      Thats not the issue. Yes many Catholics disagree with their Preist on contraception (I do). However, we do get pretty touchy when the President orders our Preists and our Clergy to violate their consciences in clear violation of the First Amendment. For many of us, its not that we're anti contraception its that we are pro First Amendement. This is increadibly disrespectful to our faith, akin to making a Jewish or Islamic soup kitchen serve pork rinds.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • John Danger

      As you can tell, "Formerly a Democrat Catholic" uses "Democrat" as an adjective – and is thus only masquerading as a Democrat, and is almost certainly not a Catholic either.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bruce

      @Formerly: It is not a violation of the First Amendment to require people to pay for things that they find morally reprehensible. We've done this for many years by allowing the government to levy taxes on pacifists and not allowing the "moral objection" argument to get them out of paying taxes by saying they found the wars that were financed by those taxes morally reprehensible.

      You have every right to say whatever you want in a public place and even try to get the law changed, but if you violate the law and purchase an insurance policy that doesn't cover contraception, the IRS has every right to deem your policy out of compliance and assess you a tax penalty if you don't go out and purchase an insurance policy that is in compliance.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  13. Craig

    My daughter wanted a tubal ligation immediately after the birth of her second child. However, the only hospital in their small town is a Catholic operation and this was forbidden. The other types of birth control have always caused her problems and they do not plan on having anymore children. Plan is the key word here-an important, thought through decision by two mature 30 year old adults. What right does the Catholic Church have to force their beliefs on anyone, especially when it relates to personal medical decisions? Who is waging "religious war" on whom?

    February 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • dalis

      Craig what right do they have to demand that a hospital perform a procedure it believes is not medically necessary and maims the patient? Doctors are moral agents, not short-order cooks.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Zocotroco

      She could have gone to a Non Catholic Hospital in a nearby City and would not have had that inconvenience.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  14. QS

    Ah religion – the world's ultimate dividing force. I'm glad President Obama doesn't pander specifically to one religion or another, and just because this particular religion claims that no Catholics use contraception (highly unlikely) doesn't mean they get to make that decision for everybody they may employ that happens to believe differently.

    Religion gets a free pass in this country FAR too often. The religious throw tantrums when they don't get their way because they honestly can't fathom or even intellectually grasp the concept that not everybody believes the same thing they do; and because of this, I think it's time all religions in this country understand that while you have freedom to practice and worship as you see fit without interference from the government, you don't actually get to decide all societal norms despite the fact that you actually think you do.

    On a side note – anti-contraception? Seriously? When does it stop? I don't really care what you believe for your own personal life, but religions seek to impose those beliefs on others without batting an eye, and then scream about how their liberties are being taken away just because, gasp, there are people who actually beileve differently!

    Get over yourselves and realize that Obama isn't "waging war on religion" as many psychotic conservatives seem to think, but rather it's religion that is waging a war against common sense and rationality...one I sincerely hope they lose in the long run!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • John Danger

      Actually, most Catholics use contraception and birth control, and readily admit this in polls. Catholics in America are not best represented by ultra-conservative archbishops and Catholic-school faculty, who are the only sources of "evidence" in the story above.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  15. ICYSILVER

    this sounds about right cater to muslims lose catholics.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • John Danger

      The story actually contains zero evidence that Obama is "losing" the Catholic vote. He won it in 2008 and will probably win it in 2012, given the hostility of Republicans to Catholic teachings on peace and war, poverty, social justice, Palestine . . . the list goes on.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • prezhussein

      Obama caters to Muslims, blacks, and extreme left wing...all the elements to which he relates as his core.
      Ignoring christmas, he instead made a big show of doing an offical white house acknowledgement of Ramadhan, instructing us as to it's spiritual value!

      February 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • BRC

      Obama gave a speach dedicating the White House CHRISTMAS tree.

      And I doubt that Islam is too much more a supporter of birth control and Catholicism, BUT, Islamic employers have to provide their employees with teh SAME health care benefits becaus... THIS ISN"T ABOUT RELIGION

      February 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  16. Ed Garfield

    The Catholic Church, after the priest scandals of the last twenty-five years, is an embarrassment and anyone who says their Catholic must be challenged.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Zocotroco

      I am a catholic and I am embarrased by those priests in our church that have abused children. But Mr. Garfield many ministers of other faiths have done the same acts too. Just read the statistics.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  17. John Danger

    Look, this story contains NO poll of Catholics. I have a poll of Catholics for you: the 2008 Presidential elections, where a majority of the Catholic vote went to Obama in 2012. Given the anti-Catholic hostility of even nominally Catholic Republican candidates, against the Church's teachings on war, poverty, social justice, Palestine – the list goes on – Obama will handily win the Catholic vote in 2012, as he did in 2008.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Tom

      Abortion is an intrinsic evil. A Catholic can't vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • StuckInTX

      Tom – intrinsically "evil" and "A Catholic can't vote for a pro-abortion candidate." or not.. I guess that's your logic for a GOP vote? Interesting how the majority of "extreme" anti-abortion folks are men?? FWIW – Catholics voted for Obama in droves, and will probably do so again in Nov.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  18. Lena

    And the intelligent person of the article award goes to...James Salt. "He said with more women able to access contraceptives there could be a reduction in abortions stemming from unplanned pregnancies as a result of the policy." Gee, ya think so? I'm glad somebody finally woke up!

    February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • John Danger

      A large majority of Catholics agree with you, Lena. Over ninety percent of them have used contraception, and a majority have used birth control.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • ICYSILVER

      in the usa free access has not decreased abortions but they are being performed at an even higher rate.

      February 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  19. Big Easy in New Orleans

    The Mantra of the Conservative GOP = “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  20. ajgorm

    Why blame conservatives for the ills of society when we all know the real reasons for failure. God gave us two hands and two feet for a reason even a tree needs to work to survive.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.